BTC’s Transitional Studies program (formerly Basic Academic Skills) can help your improve your basic reading, writing, math, and workplace skills. As comprehension and communication progress, so will your ability to express yourself and function effectively in the workplace. The goal is for every graduate to get and keep a good job.

College Readiness

Skills that can transform your desire to succeed into a good job. With College Readiness (formerly Adult Basic Education), you can work at your own pace to learn the skills you’ll need to pursue your goals. The focus is on basic reading, writing, math, and GED preparation, along with workplace skills for today’s job market.

College Readiness is for you if:
  • Your goal is to improve your basic skills to get or advance in a job.
  • You want to improve your skills and enroll in college.
  • Your goal is to get your GED or High School Diploma
  • You have a positive attitude and are committed to attending classes.

Please complete the Transitional Studies application.

We are currently operating remotely by phone and email: Phone: 360.752.8341 Email:

Essential Reading, Writing and Math

Essential Reading develops basic English reading and critical thinking skills through:

  • Real-world investigations, directed by student interest
  • Vocabulary and comprehension
  • Focus on central themes, ideas, paragraph patterns, and implied main ideas
  • Feedback and revision
  • Analyzing and synthesizing ideas

Essential Reading prepares students for Reading 85.

Essential Writing develops basic English writing and critical thinking skills through:

  • Organizing ideas
  • Focus on grammar, spelling, sentence structure, and punctuation
  • Feedback and revision
  • Analyzing and synthesizing ideas

Essential Writing prepares students for English 92. 

Basic Math prepares students to pass the GED math test or Accuplacer arithmetic test through:

  • Reinforcing and expanding on students' math knowledge
  • Focus on basic operations: whole numbers, concepts of ratio, proportion and percent, elements of geometry, and problem solving
  • Use of interactive software and classroom instruction

Essential Math prepares students for Pre-Algebra (Math 090).

Please complete the Transitional Studies application.

We are currently operating remotely by phone and email: 

Phone: 360.752.8341 Email:

GED Prep

GED prep prepares students for the GED test.

  • Students work in groups, on computers, and individually at their own pace.
  • Focus on improving basic academic and workplace skills.
  • Requires a positive attitude and commitment to attending classes.

Please complete the Transitional Studies application.

We are currently operating remotely by phone and email: 

Phone: 360.752.8341 Email:


IMPACT! (Youth Re-engagement)

In collaboration with Whatcom County School Districts, the Bellingham Technical College's IMPACT! Program offers flexible school programming and a pathways to academic and career success for students who are likely to drop out, or have already dropped out of high school. For detailed information please visit the BTC's IMPACT! Program page.

English Language Acquisition (ELA)

ELA classes are for students who need to improve their English skills to enroll in college, or succeed in the workplace or American culture.

  • Classes offered at Beginning, Intermediate, and Advanced levels.
  • Classes are available in the evening.
  • Placement testing is required.

For more information, contact the Transitional Studies office:

Currently Operating Remotely

Phone: 360.752.8341.


High School Diploma (HS+)

Bellingham Technical College is ready to help you move forward with your education and career.

High School Diploma (HS+) is a program for adults 18 and over to earn a high school diploma using previous experience to meet high school requirements.

Why is a diploma important?

  • You have a better chance of getting and keeping a job.
  • You have a better chance of earning higher pay.
  • You can continue to college and career training programs.
  • You can be a role model and inspiration for family and friends.

Prior Learning Counts!

The HS+ program recognizes that adults have a wealth of knowledge gained from work and life experiences. An instructor will work with you to assess your previous learning and use it toward meeting your high school requirements. Consider, for example:

  • What high school credits do you already have?
  • Do you have work, training, or military experience?
  • Do you have any certifications (such as CPR, First Aid, Food Handlers’ Card, Forklift, etc.)?
  • Have you taken any GED tests or college classes?

Supportive Relevant Instruction

After we assess your prior learning, you will work on subject areas where you lack credits to complete your diploma. Instructors provide coursework relevant to your life and goals. A competency-based system means that you can finish your diploma as quickly as you are able to learn and demonstrate your knowledge.

Get started today!
  1. Please complete the Transitional Studies application. 

  2. Collect your high school transcript and other documentation of prior learning to review with the High School Completion Coordinator.

  3. Attend an Orientation Session to make a plan to complete your requirements and register for classes.

  4. Complete your requirements and graduate with pride!

See Quarterly Schedule for class times.

We are currently operating remotely by phone and email: 

Phone: 360.752.8341 Email:

I-BEST Programs

I-BEST stands for Integrated Basic Education Skills Training. I-BEST is a special program structure intended for students who will benefit from receiving extra support in the classroom. I-BEST students work with two teachers in the classroom, one a specialist in the field of study, the other a specialist in basic academic skills.

Which programs are I-BEST programs?

The I-BEST program structure is currently being offered for:

  • Precision Machining
  • Welding
  • Nursing Assistant
  • HVAC

Who is I-BEST for?

I-BEST is for you if:

  • You are heading for a career, and are highly motivated to achieving your goals.
  • You have not yet passed the Accuplacer reading, sentence skills, and/or math requirement.
  • You meet CASAS testing requirements.

How do I join a I-BEST program?

Apply to the BTC program in which you are interested. It's that simple!

What if I don't have a High School Diploma or GED?

Make an appointment to meet with the Transitional Studies Advisor or HS+ Coordinator.

You may be able to start your program early! For more information, please email

Faculty & Support

Photo of Elena Belaya
Elena Belaya
Secretary Senior
Photo of Judi Wise
Judi Wise
Transitional Studies

Photo of Caren Kongshaug
Caren Kongshaug
College Readiness

Photo of Katherine Honeycutt
Katherine Honeycutt
Director of Transitional Studies, Youth Re-Engagement and Dual Credit
Photo of David Dettman
David Dettman
Academic and Career Advisor